JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes will be stepping down next month due to the “extraordinary challenges and pressures” of the role.
Joanna Geraghty, currently the airline’s President and Chief Operating Officer, will succeed Hayes, who will continue to serve on the company’s Board of Directors until that time.
Hayes, who was CEO for nine years, will serve as a strategic advisor to the company over the coming months.
“It’s bittersweet to retire from this airline I love, but I will always feel a part of the JetBlue team and be rooting for its continued success,” he said.
“For nearly 35 years – both at British Airways and here at JetBlue – I’ve loved working in this industry. However, the extraordinary challenges and pressure of this job have taken their toll, and on the advice of my doctor and after talking to my wife, it’s time I put more focus on my health and wellbeing.
“I am deeply grateful for these many exciting years and I feel very lucky to have worked at an airline with a brand, culture, and team that are simply unlike any other in the world.
“It has been a privilege to lead JetBlue for the past nine years, and I am proud of all we have accomplished. With a rigorous succession plan in place, the board and I are confident that Joanna is more than ready given her critical role in running JetBlue’s day-to-day business and positioning the airline for success.”
Peter Boneparth, Chair of JetBlue’s Board, said: “On behalf of the entire Board, I want to congratulate Joanna and thank Robin for his contributions and outstanding leadership.
“Robin guided the airline through significant change and innovation, caring for the unique JetBlue culture while also instilling a value creation mindset across the organisation and positioning us for sustainable future growth. We especially appreciate Robin’s willingness to continue to extend his tenure through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID crisis, and then again as we pursued our plan for the transformational Spirit acquisition.
“When Robin informed us of his decision to retire after many years of service to JetBlue, consistent with the Board’s extensive succession planning the Board unanimously voted to transition the role to Joanna, knowing she is fully prepared to step into the role. Joanna is a proven strategic leader and she is clearly the right person to carry JetBlue forward into this next chapter.”
Geraghty has been with JetBlue for nearly 20 years and serves on the board of directors of L3Harris Technologies and is chairperson of the board of Concern Worldwide, an international not-for-profit.